It took a week before Alan Clemmons issued a public explanation of his nearly $150,000 total payments to Heather Ammons Crawford from his campaign account in the years 2008-2012 inclusive.
The Clemmons statement came in the form of a letter to the editor of FitsNews.com, a Columbia online political outlet.
The second paragraph in the letter is the key to Clemmons’ explanation of his hiring Crawford as a contract employee. It is quoted below in full:
“Prior to Heather’s election and having been seated in the South Carolina House of Representatives in 2013, Heather was a full-time contract employee in my local district office. She served in that role from 2008 through 2012. When hired, her salary was $2,000 per month and was later increased to $2,500 per month. Heather consulted and advised me regarding campaign and election matters, managed my district office, handled officeholder account bookkeeping and filed my public reports. The bulk of her full-time focus was, however, assisting me in serving the needs of my constituents. Heather kept regular hours in the district office, housed at no cost to the taxpayer or my supporters on the premises of my law firm.”
Clemmons went on to say he takes constituent service very seriously, hence the position for Crawford.
According to Clemmons’ campaign disclosure filings, he hired Crawford in April 2008 for the sum of $2,000 per month plus expenses. That amount was increased to $2,500 per month plus expenses beginning May 2009 and running at that rate through December 2012. All payments to Crawford were made from Clemmons’ campaign account.
As a state representative, Clemmons spends approximately three days per week, five months per year in Columbia for legislative sessions. He is paid $10,400 per year salary, $12,000 per year ($1,000 per month) for In District Expenses, subsistence for hotel and meals while attending legislative sessions, mileage to and from Columbia and some additional expense reimbursements as appropriate.
As a state representative from Horry County, he has access to the services of the two employees of the county legislative delegation office in Conway (paid for from county council general fund). These aides are employed to take phone calls, handle correspondence, and provide additional support, as needed, for the members of the Horry County Legislative Delegation.